You are what you eat... Eat healthy.

Benefits of Blueberries


Fun Facts:

July is National Blueberry Month!

Native Americans believed that blueberries possessed magical powers, and during the American Civil War blueberry juice was used to protect soldiers from scurvy. Folk remedies — from relieving morning sickness to stopping diarrhea — have long been associated with blueberries. (i.45)

Blueberries are in the same botanical family as other known healthy super fruits such as cranberry and lingonberry. They contain many of the same beneficial phytochemicals (including resveratrol) as grapes, another fruit with many health benefits. Studies indicate that blueberries may protect against cardiovascular disease, from varicose veins to stroke-induced brain damage, as well as hemorrhoids, ulcers and even cancer. (i.54243)

The same phytonutrients that give blueberries their signature color are also antioxidants — helping neutralize free-radical damage to cells. Animal research has shown that blueberries may aid in neurological functions such as balance control, coordination and memory, and may even be beneficial for Alzheimer's disease patients. Antimicrobial properties may help prevent the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, and studies have found a beneficial correlation between blueberries and androgen-sensitive prostate cancer(i.15)

Blueberries are rich in many cancer-fighting nutrients, including vitamin C, the flavonoids cyanidin, and pelargonidin, ellagic acid, ursolic acid, resveratrol, and pterostilbene, as well as healthy fiber. (i.442)

Scientific Evidence of Blueberry's Benefits

Research indicates that blueberries help fight cancer by:

  • Inhibiting development, replication, and growth of cancer cells. (i.44)
  • Triggering death in cancer cells (especially the pterostilbene and resveratrol phytochemicals in blueberries). (i.45)
  • Preventing metastasis, or spread of cancer, by blocking cancer cell stimuli that attempt to increase nutrients by forming new blood vessels. (i.44)

Lab and animal studies show that blueberries exhibit anti-tumor effects in the following types of cancer:

Clinical and pre-clinical studies in humans demonstrate that other berries rich in anthocyanins can help prevent colorectal, esophageal, oral, and prostate cancer, suggesting that blueberries may have the same effects. (i.445051)

How to Use, Store, & Grow Blueberries

When selecting blueberries, the fruits should be deep blue and may have a chalky white coating. They will last for seven to ten days when refrigerated. Fresh or frozen blueberries contain the largest amounts of the potent antioxidant phytonutrient anthocyanin. Very little anthocyanin is found in dried blueberries. (i.12)

DOs (i.1) DON'Ts (i.1)
Freeze blueberries for long-term storage — they'll last up to a year. Put fresh blueberries in a bag to freeze — they'll clump up and will be difficult to separate later on when you just want to shake a few out on top of your cereal or yogurt. Freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet first and once frozen put them in a freezer-safe bag.
Sort through and get rid of any decaying, slimy, or moldy berries before storing them. Wash berries before storing in the refrigerator or freezer (dampness can cause decay).
Defrost (if frozen) and toss them with flour first before adding to batter. Add fresh or frozen blueberries directly to a batter for cakes, muffins, or pancakes — they'll clump up on the bottom.
Add frozen blueberries directly to a glass of lemonade for a pretty (and healthy) color contrast instead of ice cubes! No need to rinse frozen blueberries before using — simply let them thaw at room temperature.

Growing Blueberries

Wild blueberries typically have higher antioxidant levels. However, many varieties are relatively easy to grow yourself. (i.2)

Blueberries prefer highly acidic dirt, take up little space in the garden, and bear fruit throughout the summer into early fall. They can be planted in zones 3-10 and require moist, well-drained soil. Blueberries are fairly disease resistant but hungry birds are an obvious enemy. Best practices include using bird netting and keeping the growing area free of fallen fruit which can contribute to rot and fungus. (i.11)

Ericaceae, or Heath, family.
Conversely, the benefits of blueberries for the vascular system can lead to improved oxygen and nutrient supply to normal skin cells. (i.2)
Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician. If you require any medical related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information presented on this website is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.